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Dig Liver Dis. 2012 Apr;44(4):315-22. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2011.10.015. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

N-glycan based biomarker distinguishing non-alcoholic steatohepatitis from steatosis independently of fibrosis.

Author information

1
Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium. bram.blomme@ugent.be

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a spectrum of disorders ranging from steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Steatosis of the liver is benign, whereas NASH can progress to cirrhosis or even hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently, a liver biopsy is the only validated method to distinct NASH from steatosis.

AIM:

The objective of this study was to identify a biomarker specific for NASH based on the N-glycosylation of serum proteins.

METHODS:

N-glycosylation patterns were assessed using DNA sequencer-assisted fluorophore-assisted capillary electrophoresis and compared with histology.

RESULTS:

Initially, a glycomarker (log[NGA2F]/[NA2]) was developed based on the results obtained in 51 obese non-alcoholic patients scheduled for bariatric surgery. Multivariate analysis showed that our glycomarker had the lowest P-value of all biomarkers in distinguishing NASH from steatosis (P=0.069). The glycomarker was validated in a cohort of 224 non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients. In both pilot and validation study, glycomarker score increased in ascending amount of lobular inflammation (single-factor ANOVA, P ≤ 0.001 and P=0.012, respectively). The N-glycan profile of immunoglobulin G in the NASH population confirmed the significantly increased undergalactosylation present in these patients.

CONCLUSION:

Our glycomarker specifically recognises liver inflammation in obese individuals which is the main trigger for the development of steatohepatitis and can differentiate between steatosis and NASH.

PMID:
22119618
DOI:
10.1016/j.dld.2011.10.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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